What will be most important for the success of eCommerce in 2022? See a list of 10 trends in eCommerce to look out for.
eCommerce is no longer an unwanted child in the sales world
Over the past few years, eCommerce has become a significant part of global retail. Like many other industries, retail has been forced to undergo a comprehensive transformation based on the development of the Internet and the online presence of consumers, especially due to the all-present Covid pandemic.
eCommerce has become a strategically important sales channel in large companies and is no longer an unwanted child of sales teams. Special teams have been established for eCommerce for a long time, global expansion strategies and very ambitious plans are being worked out. Some big companies, like Zara (part of the Inditex group), are even closing their physical stores and focusing on online sales.
As Internet access and acceptance of online commerce expands rapidly across countries around the world, the number of online shoppers is growing every year. The Statista overview of eCommerce's share in global retail sales shows a significant jump in 2020 compared to 2019, which is mostly caused by the pandemic. But constant growth is also projected in the coming years.
Source: E-commerce share of total global retail sales from 2015 to 2024, Statista
If we compare that with the Statista predictions from a year ago, when the forecast was that by the end of 2020, global eCommerce would be worth $ 4,200 billion and account for 16% of total retail turnover, we see that the predictions of that time were greatly exceeded. This gives us the right to say that the figures for 2021 and 2022 will be slightly higher than projected as the pandemic continues to have a significant impact on our lives and the world economy.
eCommerce trends for 2022.
Keeping up with the newest global eCommerce trends may seem abstract if we try to replicate all this to our market and to our own example. In reality, we need to focus on the environment in which we live and work and adapt eCommerce to the habits of our customers.
For example, live commerce is a real hit in China,but European consumers are likely to embrace this way of shopping later and to a lesser extent.
On the other hand, it is not difficult to identify specific trends in Internet commerce that will have a significant impact on local and regional sales results in 2022.
We've counted 10, but we emphasize two: mobile-first approach to planning and designing webshops and the importance of first- i zero-party customer data.
We bring you the 10 most important trends that create a new image of eCommerce in today's dynamic environment.
1. Mobile-first approach for a happier user.
A few years ago Statista predicted that by the end of 2021. as much as 73% of online sales will be done via mobile This prediction proved to be accurate in 2021 as well. Therefore, every web shop should be designed with a mobile first premise. Customers need to be able to make a purchase via mobile phone as easily as on a desktop.
So, mobile-first pristup refers to webshop design in which the mobile version of the site is done first, and only after that the desktop version and larger formats. By accepting the mobile-first approach, the current work process is reversed, in which the desktop version was first created, which was then adapted to the mobile dimensions.
Although there will always be customers who browse the webshop on a mobile phone and complete the purchase on the desktop version (laptop or computer), it is important to follow the metrics.
Turn on Analytics and create a simple table for your webshop (see example in the picture below)) for the selected time period (say from the beginning of the year until now), and analyze the difference in numbers.
The main question that arises is: where do mobile visitors go after browsing? What makes them convert to customers on the mobile version more?
|View share %||
|Conversion rate (%)|
- If you’re designing a new webshop, encourage your developers and designers to think in a mobile-first direction.
- If you already have a webshop, it pays to review and upgrade the mobile version of the webshop.
Google also has a mobile-first approach in its search engine rankings, both in organic results and in ad serving. When indexing pages for the mobile version of the results, the loading speed is especially taken into account. You can check it out here.
2. Collect your own visitor and customer data (first-party and zero-party data) for less dependence on Gooogle and Facebook.
With the abolition of 3rd party cookies in all major world browsers during 2022, the use of this data will cease, thus ending an important era in marketing.
We will no longer be able to rely on user data collected for us by advertising giants such as Google and Facebook, but advertising will be done according to cohorts of users. How effective it will be (and how much it will cost at the end of the day) no one can say for sure, but there is an alternative - collecting your own data on visitors and customers on the webshop.
We are talking about two sets of data here:
- First-party data is information about your own users or visitors that you have collected yourself based on their behavior and interactions on the website or past purchases on the webshop.
- Zero-party data are those that are consciously given to us by users or visitors, in exchange for some benefits that they receive in return. They enable retailers to build a relationship with their consumers, to tailor marketing messages and offers to them.
How is this data collected?
- First-party data on our Shape Core platform is collected as part of the Internal Customer Tracking option, which, after the consent of the visitor, anonymously records data on his movements and actions on the webshop. At the moment of identifying a visitor by leaving an e-mail or registering on the webshop, the recorded data for that visitor are withdrawn and they are now actively used to personalize the offer and marketing communication to him.
- Zero-party data are those that the user gives us in exchange for something, which can be done through various mechanisms:
- Sweepstakes and contests
- Gifts with purchase
- UGC (User generated content)
- Voting competitions
- VIP treatment
- Loyalty club
More details on how to collect zero-party data and CDP as a basis for storing this data (which is an integral part of the eCommerce platform) on our blog.
From this comes on-site personalization of content, which provides the visitor with exactly what he is looking for. On-site personalization uses customer insights to create an individual, customized shopping experience on the web shop itself. Customized banner combination display, personalized product display order personalization, discount coupon personalization… there are many ways you can offer your customers what they really need.
The next three trends relate to the visual presentation of products on the webshop, which is an extremely important item for customers. For retailers, especially those with a wide range of products, this can be a big challenge because creating descriptions, photos and videos is a very extensive and therefore expensive job. What is certain is that it spills over into revenue and that webshops with quality materials have a higher conversion rate.
3. Top photos sell product!
Products on the webshop should be presented with photos that are:
- clear and non-misleading - show the product being sold, without unnecessary details and surrounding objects that could give the impression that it is also part of the product being sold
- detailed - depending on the type of product, give the customer the opportunity to see the product from different angles, to see details, ways of use, accessories or accessories that come with the product
- uniform - all photos should be uniform, at least within the same category. So, the same angle of photography, the same lighting, the same background and composition. It’s something that makes the webshop ‘prettier’ and no webshop design can make up for the inconsistency in the photos.
- high-quality - today every better mobile device takes extremely high quality photos, so there is no excuse for the webshop to have poor resolution photos or that no details are visible when zooming.
- professional - there are many photographers on the market who specialize in making product photos for webshops. A photo session is organized at their or your location, where all products are shot in equal conditions.
This is much easier for retailers who sell goods from big brands who prepare suitable photos themselves, so there is no need to do them yourself. But for those who sell their own products or products of smaller brands, it can make a significant difference.
We definitely recommend that in the redesign phase of the webshop, you invest a certain amount of time and budget in photos of existing products, and to establish a standard for future new products. Once a month, quarterly or as needed, take photos of new products so that customers have the best possible overview of the offer.
BONUS tip: Watch Out For SEO Optimization Of Photos - they can bring visitors through Google image search results!
4. Video presentation of the product convinces even the most skeptical customers.
While this may not be applicable to all types of products, it is true for many - consumers love video!
More than 60% of customers look at product reviews before buying, so if you give them that option on the product page itself, they won’t leave your site at all and are more likely to make a purchase. A video can explain and show a product better than any photo or description.
Video materials can show the product in various ways:
- video review of products from various angles
- marketing promo video about the product
- product review
- instructions on how to use the product
You can upload the video directly to the webshop or embed an existing video from Youtube, whether it is your own or an external Youtube channel. If it is external, one should be careful since Youtube is a living organism and the links are changing, so it is possible that some video will become inaccessible and the link will remain broken on the webshop.
A few more video tips:
- it should not be too long, 20-30 seconds is enough
- if there are narrations, insert subtitles - as many as 80% of users watch video without sound
5. AR product display to give the impression of the reality of Internet shopping.
Augmented Reality (AR) or virtual reality is increasingly seen in eCommerce. AR enhances the impression of the reality of Internet shopping.
Virtual reality helps customers visualize the product they are interested in, whether it is furniture, clothing or a gadget. On the other hand, it brings retailers and brands new opportunities to place product information, especially characteristic of the Z generation - all-in-one screen. Customers can now see what a particular product would look like in their apartment or yard, all before making a final decision and pressing the BUY button.
An additional option is to display configurable products in 3D according to the elements selected by the customer. For example, if you sell furniture and the table consists of legs and a main wooden part, with the help of AR the customer can more easily visualize the combination of the selected color of furniture.
Let’s go back to a few more important things to keep in mind when developing eCommerce.
6. Integrating the webshop with external systems automates processes and reduces errors.
In eCommerce, there is no more room for transcribing and retyping data about products, users, orders ... Things will work if the processes are automated.
The integration of the webshop with external systems (ERP, suppliers, B2B customers, commercial banks, delivery services, payment systems, marketing systems ...) allows just that - to automate most processes in the online store. This speeds up the processes, eliminates the possibility of human error and achieves scalability and higher capacity in periods of higher workload (eg holiday period, sales ...).
Sellers who are serious about online commerce are aware of this and are increasingly citing integration with external systems as an essential item in the first phase of creating a webshop.
7. Multiple payment methods attract different customer profiles.
In addition to more or less standard methods of payment by cash on delivery, Internet banking (transfer or transaction account) and credit cards, customers also expect new, innovative payment options. Here are some of them.
- Paypal - known to all and dear to many, Paypal still holds a high place in terms of representation in online payments. It has a slightly higher fee than other payment methods, but it brings the user what is most important in online sales - trust and security, so be sure to include this payment method in your webshop.
- KEKS Pay - a local solution for secure and fun payments issued by Erste Bank, but available to customers of all banks, very quickly found its customer base in Croatia. KEKS pay is also used to pay at webshops. More on the integration itself as well as seller and customer benefits on our blog.
- PayCek - paying with cryptocurrencies is no longer science fiction, but our everyday life. PayCek can also be integrated into the webshop, so we invite you to read how and why you should do it and what are the benefits for you (Pssst, there is no fee for merchants!)
Implementing Google Pay or Apple Pay also brings an extra note of security and trust to customers.
If you sell in foreign markets, research well which is the preferred payment method in a particular market, as many countries have their own specific payment gateway systems that users trust.
8. Subscriptions and loyalty programs ensure that customers return.
Many companies have drastically changed their development and growth by changing the business model from classic sales to subscription model, a version in which subscribing to certain products or services, usually on a monthly basis, ensures a steady inflow of new revenue.
The most famous story is about the Dollar shave club (which was ultimately bought by the global giant Unilever for $ 1 billion),but you don’t have to be radical to that extent. It is enough to offer customers the option to promise you their loyalty, and you somehow reward them for it. This will make it easier for you to plan for future periods, and bring customers additional benefits that are always welcome.
- Loyalty programs -when designing the logic and rules of a loyalty program, move away from purely collecting points and giving discounts. Customers love much more than that. They love free shipping, convenient packaging, surprise gifts, personalized product
- Subscriptions may not be so common in our market (for now there are subscriptions to baby diapers, where the child's age is even monitored and the next size of diaper used by the child is predicted in time), but it is a standard service in many countries. Groceries and supplies, pet food, office supplies and cleaning supplies - prevent customers from postponing an order or making a purchase elsewhere by creating subscriptions, reminding them on time and delivering exactly what they need when they need it.
9. The connection between offline and online outlets
In our conversations with clients who make new webshops, we often say: You do not sell these specific products to customers on the webshop, you sell them your brand! You sell them the trust that the brand instills and the security it brings them.
- If you have physical outlets, this means that the customer will equate their online experience with the offline experience and vice versa. If he experiences disappointment while shopping online, the chances of him going to the store soon fall. Likewise, if he has had an awkward experience in the store, he is unlikely to order anything online.
- Another important link is information sharing - customers expect to find information on the web about offers in physical stores (stock status of a product, price in store - if different from web price), expect they can pick up, exchange and return their web orders in stores. It is up to each retailer to decide how deeply to integrate these two sales channels, but experience shows that better connectivity brings better results.
The girl in the store buys boots, but gives up the purchase because they are outside her budget. The saleswoman advises to add these boots to their favorites on their webshop, so she will be notified when they are on sale.
In a few weeks the boots are on sale, the girl orders the boots (she knows the size already because she tried them on at the store) and chooses to pick up at the store. He meets the saleswoman again, happy and grateful that she made it possible for her to shop.
Along the way, she also buys a boot care spray that her saleswoman recommends. ;)
10. B2B online sales are growing and becoming more important.
As more and more B2B companies move online and thus offer their products and services, the changing expectations of B2B customers should be taken into account. Today, almost half of all adults are millennials, and Generation Z is also slowly coming into the working age population. These generations prefer a simple, self-service user experience that allows them to research for themselves and get the information they need, without talking to vendors.
Once informed, they are ready to discuss the values your products or services bring to them, negotiate terms, and provide feedback.
The following is important in the B2B segment:
- review and retrieval of all existing customer documents (offers, invoices, refunds)
- display of item prices per customer (applied rebates by categories, additional rebates depending on the contract with the customer)
- multiple levels of rights for B2B customers (some users can only create orders, others approve, some only have the right of insight)
- possibility of API connection with the customer - in case he wants to download your offer directly into his system
When creating a web shop we should think in a way that provides as much information as possible to customers through the webshop, and that we automate certain actions so that sales staff can dedicate themselves to creating relationships with customers and increasing their value to your company.
Extra: DYNAMIC PRICING
As a special trend, we will mention Dynamic Pricing, a pricing strategy in which companies determine their sales prices of products and / or services according to current market demand. Simply put, dynamic pricing is actually selling the same product at different prices to different customers.
We wrote about it in more detail in our blog post Dynamic Pricing in eCommerce, and on this topic we have prepared an eBook (in English) which you can download at the following link
Where to start?
There are many trends, but still less time and resources. How to choose what to implement in your eCommerce business, what will bring the fastest and what the biggest long-term sales increase?
The answer is neither simple nor unequivocal.
- Once a year review what and how the competition in your industry is doing, keep track of what they have done this year compared to last.
- Do A / B testing for the things you can - if you can't do something (such as making videos and photos) for the entire range, try doing them for the best-selling category.
- Talk to experts who have already introduced such changes and innovations to other clients.
Finally, we will say how we do this with our (potential) clients.
eCommerce strategy workshop - for those who have not had experience in eCommerce so far
If you are designing a webshop for the first time, we will go through each item together, instruct you in all the tricks and things you need to think about, and define the basic strategy of your online sales channel. As part of the budget for creating a web shop, we will create an offer that will follow the strategy, and if something from that strategy is not financially feasible at the start, we will plan for the future.
After this workshop, acceptance of our offer is not mandatory, and as a result you get a document with a detailed eCommerce solution that can be the basis for requesting an offer from any other contractor.
eCommerce discovery workshop - for well-established online retailers
You’ve had a webshop for a while now, but no way to ‘bounce’ off your current point? Together we will analyze the situation, identify where changes are needed and create a strategy for the webshop that will bring you new customers and more traffic.
Also, creating a new web shop is not mandatory. The desired result of such a workshop is a clear vision of how to further develop online business, what to do to create sustainable growth and increase revenue in the long run.